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View Full Version : I need help with "a" string



sukie
02-12-2009, 11:14 AM
I noticed yesterday that when I play the 13th and 14th frets on my a string that they sound the same. The note is correct for the 14th fret. Can anyone tell me why this would happen? It didn't do this before. It's a KoAloha concert with, I think, Worth clears on it. I got the uke in October and haven't changed the strings yet. Is it maybe time? If so, I have another question -- The uke has friction tuners (which I'm afraid of) -- so do I just loosen the screws to get the strings out and changed, then semi-tighten them until I need to do the fine-tuning? Is that a pun?

As an aside to anyone thinking about a KoAloha purchased from MGM -- I've been playing this uke since October and it hardly ever needs tuning. I pop the Intelli on and -- magic! -- it's still in tune. I think that's why I'm afraid to change the strings. It's a wonderful ukulele.

Thanks for any help you can give me.

HaileISela
02-12-2009, 11:35 AM
it might be the 14th fret, maybe he's too high and when you fret on the 13th the string touches the next one (but I would never expect that on such a high end Uke)

GX9901
02-12-2009, 11:43 AM
I once had a KoAlana (not KoAloha) concert that had a fret that was not seated all the way at the A-string side of the fretboard which resulted in exactly what you are describing here, where fretting the lower of the two frets (your 13th fret) got the same note as the higher fret (14th fret). That KoAlana is a cheap Chinese made uke that had pretty rough overall workmanship. I ended up sanding down the bad fret as much as I could and it kind of worked. On a KoAloha ukulele, if that's indeed the same problem, I would return it for a new one. There's no excuse for a high end uke to have that problem.

BTW I got the KoAlana from MGM as well so stuff like that does excape him once in a while.

As for your friction tuner, there's no need to loosen the screw. Just turn the tuning button. You only need to tighten or loosen the screws if turning it is too tight or it's too loose and can't hold the tuning. (if you can turn it, it's not too tight)

haolejohn
02-12-2009, 11:51 AM
As an aside to anyone thinking about a KoAloha purchased from MGM -- I've been playing this uke since October and it hardly ever needs tuning. I pop the Intelli on and -- magic! -- it's still in tune. I think that's why I'm afraid to change the strings. It's a wonderful ukulele.

Thanks for any help you can give me.

Not to sound like a hater but I think the ukuleles ability to stay in tune says more about the luthier than the seller.

HaileISela
02-12-2009, 12:19 PM
Not to sound like a hater but I think the ukuleles ability to stay in tune says more about the luthier than the seller.

well, did she say anything else? sounded pretty much as if she meant the luthier did a good job

sukie
02-12-2009, 12:32 PM
It's just started happening. When I got the ukulele and for the past few months this has NOT been happening. Fret wires/bars (?) look good, strings don't feel weird -- nothing to the visible eye looks different. This also seems to be the only place this is happening.

Where is KoAlohaPaul when you need him?

haolejohn -- I just meant that I think KoAlohas are wonderful. It goes without saying that MGM is the man. It was just an observation about it always being in tune.

cpatch
02-12-2009, 12:35 PM
Contact KoAloha's customer service at (808) 847-4911 (4 hours behind you).

haolejohn
02-12-2009, 03:39 PM
haolejohn -- I just meant that I think KoAlohas are wonderful. It goes without saying that MGM is the man. It was just an observation about it always being in tune.

I figured that is what you meant but me being a teacher it appeared to me that all the props were going to the seller with the way of the wording. No worries. I hope you get your problem fixed. Will you let us know what the problem ended up being?

That's why i almost didn't post that comment. I didn't want to get lynched. I guess it bothers me when we act as if there is only one place to buy an ukulele (his reputation is well deserved) but there are many more that are as good.

To the MGM fan club I am sorry if I offended any of you.:cheers:

Lanark
02-13-2009, 04:26 AM
I'd try changing strings before anything else. Seems the logical first step if the problem just manifested itself. (Occam's razor and all that.)

After at least 4 months of daily playing they're probably due for a change anyway. (You do practice daily, don't you Sukie? ;))

hoosierhiver
02-13-2009, 04:33 AM
Don't be afraid to change your strings and mess around with your uke,you're not gonna ruin it. You will get a better understanding of your instrument.

sukie
02-13-2009, 06:17 AM
After at least 4 months of daily playing they're probably due for a change anyway. (You do practice daily, don't you Sukie? ;))

Yes, for at least an hour. With the anticipated kickoff of the TCUO I guess it'll have to be even more.


Thanks everyone for your input. I'll summon up the courage to change the strings and let you know if it solved the problem.

sukie
02-13-2009, 06:07 PM
I'm back with an update --

After looking very carefully -- ok, I put on my reading glasses and went into bright light -- I see that the 14th fret has popped up a bit on the "a' string side -- make sense? Is this something I can take care of myself? Thanks for any help.

tiki_ink
02-13-2009, 07:38 PM
I figured that is what you meant but me being a teacher it appeared to me that all the props were going to the seller with the way of the wording. No worries. I hope you get your problem fixed. Will you let us know what the problem ended up being?

That's why i almost didn't post that comment. I didn't want to get lynched. I guess it bothers me when we act as if there is only one place to buy an ukulele (his reputation is well deserved) but there are many more that are as good.

To the MGM fan club I am sorry if I offended any of you.:cheers:

Being a teacher should also afford you the knowledge to know that you can't tell tense, emotion, inflection, body language, or original intent in forum postings, blogs, or emails. Comments are always getting misinterpretted. Nobody is pretending that MGM is the only place to buy a uke. Get off the soap box, have a beer, play your uke and smile! :cheers:

HaileISela
02-14-2009, 01:18 AM
I'm back with an update --

After looking very carefully -- ok, I put on my reading glasses and went into bright light -- I see that the 14th fret has popped up a bit on the "a' string side -- make sense? Is this something I can take care of myself? Thanks for any help.

makes perfect sense, but I don't know if that's something you should fix yourself... but the others will know more about that!

sukie
02-14-2009, 07:30 AM
I stopped by the store where I take lessons. The store owner will be able to fix it, said it wasn't all that serious. They recommended I not send it back to either KoAloha or MGM for fixing. Makes sense to me -- why risk shipping damage.

Thanks to all who posted

haole
02-14-2009, 10:47 AM
Hope it doesn't cost you much to get it fixed, because KoAloha's warranty probably covers stuff like that.

haolejohn
02-14-2009, 11:53 AM
Get off the soap box, have a beer, play your uke and smile! :cheers:

I suppose I can do three of the four suggested activities. LOL.

freedive135
02-14-2009, 12:04 PM
Contact KoAloha and tell them what has happende and what YOUR shop found I'm saying this cuz having a NON KoAloha shop work on your Uke may void Warrentys!!!!!!

sukie
02-15-2009, 07:05 AM
Contact KoAloha and tell them what has happende and what YOUR shop found I'm saying this cuz having a NON KoAloha shop work on your Uke may void Warrentys!!!!!!

Ooooh! Good point. See, this is why UU is so valuable.

koalohapaul
03-08-2009, 04:43 PM
sukie,

Don't be afraid to contact me via PM, or e-mail anytime. I usually hang out in the main forum or builder's forum, but I happened to stumble upon this thread today.

The fret lifting up is definitely covered by our warranty. We do cover shipping back to us up to $40, through USPS Insured Priority Mail. You can ship through FedEx or UPS also, but that will run you more than the Postal Service. Shipping back to you, of course, is no charge.

Unfortunately, we don't have any authorized repair shops, so having a local luthier work on the instrument will void the warranty, if we do need to work on the same area of the fret board. It doesn't sound too bad, though. Hopefully the fix will be as simple as tapping the fret back into position.

Although you will have to part with your instrument, my recommendation is to send it back to us. I would feel most comfortable knowing that we fixed it up. That way, we be responsible for any work in the future, although I hope you won't have to send it back more than once.

Brian is our showroom manager and also handles most of our repairs. If you would like to call him, you can reach him M-F, 8:00-5:00 Hawaii time. You can also e-mail him directly, brian(put an at mark here)koaloha.com.

Hope that helps.

Aloha,
Paul